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Athena SWAN

Committed to promoting equality of opportunity for all


"At Hull we are building a​n equitable and inclusive community, embracing diversity of thought, people and ideas, a space where everyone can thrive. We recognise that change is a continual process, and that we are not yet where we would like to be. The expanded Athena Swan Charter is one strand of this work, which focuses on addressing institutional inequalities across all genders—including issues of representation, progression, career development, and life-work balance. We are working with a dedicated Self-Assessment team to develop and then implement an ambitious action plan which promotes equality and inclu​sion for all."

Professor Becky Huxley-Binns,
Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education


The University was re-awarded Bronze Athena Swan in 2018, since when significant progress has been made in a number of areas including:

  • Enhanced support for academic staff considering promotion
  • Introduction of equality networks
  • Partnership agreement with Hull University Student’s Union
  • Support for transgender staff and students
  • Visibility of women role models and celebrations of women’s achievements
  • Bespoke development activity for Heads of department

However, we still have much to do if we are to retain our Bronze award:

  • We want to increase the number of women in senior academic leadership positions, including heads of academic departments.
  • The gender pay gap (23.23% in 2019) remains high, reflecting an under-representation of women in senior roles and an under-representation of men at lower PSS grades.
  • Career development support and opportunities for professional and support staff could be improved, including developing career pathways, mentoring and secondment opportunities.
  • We want to build on the increased representation of women at Senior Lecturer level by exploring how to better support women in making successful applications for Reader and personal Chair.
  • We need to take a more inclusive approach to flexible working with improved communication and promotion of alternative options, including part-time roles and job-sharing.
  • We need to review our support for maternity and adoption returners and those with caring responsibilities.
  • Our senior committees have a disproportionate ratio of male staff. We would like to work with our senior committee chairs to encourage an appropriate balance of gender, BAME and career stage representation.

The actions we have developed in our Athena Swan Action Plan 2022-2026 seek to address these issues, and more, while continuing to break down barriers to gender equality, supporting all staff in our University community.

For further information on the University’s commitment or work supporting Athena Swan please contact the Chair of the University Athena Swan Self-Assessment Team, Dr Martha Kember (